Mama Mayhem

She’s certainly no Monet

By Ivy Jensen

I REALLY stepped out of my comfort zone last week.
Not only am I walking-jogging five times a week (not for fun mind you!), but I did something I haven’t done in a long time, largely due to my innate fear of failing miserably.
I painted a picture. And not just a picture, but a piece of art that actually resembled something.
Tongala artist Murray Ross, who is a master with a paintbrush — you just have to look around Tonny to see his impressive murals — offered me a free art lesson to thank me for a story I wrote about him. Perks of the job, I know. Unfortunately, not all my subjects are so appreciative.
Anyhoo, what poor unwitting Murray didn’t realise was how terrible I am when it comes to visual arts.
I seriously can’t draw or paint to save my life. If the drawings I created came to life, dogs would be mistaken for deformed wombats, houses would crumble or fly to the moon and people would be two-dimensional spooks walking around like zombies because they have no elbows or knees.
I mean, my own art teacher washed his hands of me. Although I believe the architect in him just didn’t appreciate my unusual abstract style.
But Murray — the true professional that he is — didn’t even flinch when I told him of my shortcomings and took on the challenge that is me.
I brought along Maya to show him that I have not passed on that gene to my offspring.
We started off with a cartoon drawing of a toothpaste man and toothbrush woman dancing. Sadly, mine looked more like a can of hairspray dancing with a dishbrush. So, we quickly moved onto the paints.
‘‘As long as it’s not a portrait, animal or realistic landscape, I should be okay,’’ I thought to myself.
And ... it’s a beach scene. Good God! My fingers started to tense up and my eye started twitching. Nevertheless, Murray assured me I would be fine and I just needed to look how he did it and follow suit. If only it was that easy.
Well I did everything he said and I can’t say it turned out quite like his, I am pleased to say it still resembled a beach scene.
Despite my clouds looking more like blobs of white paint instead of rolling cumulus formations and my waves more like a staircase rather than undulating swells.
Nothing that Murray couldn’t fix though.
Sweet, kind Murray who refused to say I was his worst student to date.
So thank you Murray. For taking the time to teach me, for your patience and encouragement.
Who knows? My paintings might actually be worth something when I die ...?